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Did Toyota Miss the Mark With the New 2008 Scion xB?

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According to a review by The Truth About Cars the new Scion xB pales in comparison to the first generation. The writer feels that Toyota adopted many of the same methods that brought GM down. “It bristles with classic GM-think: dumb it down, fatten it up and cheapen it out.”

The new 2008 Scion xB is just starting to trickle into showrooms. I saw my first one on the streets a few days ago. I immediately noticed the car, but I do have to say that it doesn’t look any better in person than it does in photos. The last generation was great and this version leaves you wanting more.

According to the “Truth” author the new xB has become bloated and has lost many of the elements that made the first generation so popular. First off the new car is 12 inches longer, the height has been reduced, it is three inches wider and weighs 650 pounds more than the old car! Toyota basically took the old car and pulled it in every direction and made it fat. Unfortunately the extra length and width does not equate to extra interior room. Most of the extra inches of length went to the longer hood. The reduced height also reduced the overall usuable interior space.

Since Toyota made the new xB 650 pounds heavier the old 1.5L engine would no longer work so they transplanted the Camry’s 2.4L engine. The car now has more power than the old version, but it is not as fun to drive. Although the xB has the Camry’s engine, they decided to not use the 5-speed auto in the Camry. The new xB must make due with an archaic 4-speed auto. Although the car now has more power, gas mileage has decreased 25% from the old car. It seems that Toyota went backwards, shouldn’t every new model have more power and better gas mileage? Especially with today’s ever increasing gas prices.

“The new XB is faster, but the fun (and challenge) is gone. The new-found heft and softer ride takes XB handling from MINI territory right to into Camry Land. And we all now how engaging and exciting THAT is.”

The interior is also worse than the last generation. The seats scream cheap. According to the author, the Chevy Aveo has better seats. The overall interior is plagued by low quality plastics and weird designs.

Basically the author labeled this new Scion xB as more of a Camry 5-door than a Scion. I have to agree with him on most of his accounts. Although the author forgot to note that the previous version was designed for the Japanese market. That is why it was a lot smaller. This new version obviously was designed more for American tastes. What do you think?

Full Story: The Truth About Cars

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